NORWALK, Conn. – The buzz we're hearing out of Hartford is a crackle of energy focused on the creative economy. New initiatives are sparking out of the Department of Economic and Community Development, catalyzing innovation, entrepreneurship, art and technology. To Norwalk 2.0, this is nothing new, and we're chuffed that there's support for our kind of vision at the state level. But it's not just Connecticut that is climbing aboard the reinvention bandwagon.
All across the globe, people are talking about cities and the future and how economic engines start with the spark of collaborative entrepreneurs paving the way with ideas instead of roads. It's not a new idea, it's how cities and innovation have been all along before sprawl became the norm. This idea that innovation happens when a dense concentration of industry occurs fills the talks at TED. So much so that The TED Prize 2012 was awarded to another 2.0 organization called City 2.0. Like us, they are focused on crowdsourcing the future of cities, through arts, through ideas, through communication.
We want to crowd source a future Norwalk, too, because these days there's just too much stuff to do.
So let's tell you about some of our initiatives.
One of the things we're helping along is the formation of the Norwalk Arts: Greater Norwalk Arts Council. The next live, in-person meeting is Friday, March 9, at 5 p.m. at Fat Cat Pie Co., 11 Wall St. The arts community of greater Norwalk has an online discussion group and website. You can be a part of the online discussion or check out the website (a work in progress). We welcome all to join us in creating a flourishing arts organization.
On Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m., Norwalk 2.0 is one of the hosts of a screening of a documentary on ethics and the military, called "Article 32." What's really cool about the film is we have the directors on hand, including Don Sikorski, who got his start in the creative economy at Norwalk High. Yes, the stuff you can learn in Norwalk Public Schools can actually lead to a career in the creative economy.
Panelists on hand include the Wilton teacher who fostered the most controversial play in Wilton's history, Bonnie Dickinson and Yolande Goodman, a Norwalk native, former Marine who is writing a book about her experiences. The film, food and discussion will be at one of our favorite movie production studios, SoNo Studios at 18 Leonard St.
On March 29, Norwalk 2.0 returns to the Community Conversation series on Civility, and is one of the hosts of a panel discussion on Civility and the Press, featuring Froma Harrop, nationally syndicated columnist; Jerrod Ferrari, editor of The Hour; and Thomas Mellana, editorial page editor of the Stamford Advocate. The event is at The Wine Room, 5 Wall St., Norwalk.
In April, we will be announcing our next series of pop-up Arts incubators. If you missed last year's mARTket, you won't want to miss this year's creative placemaking efforts.
Norwalk 2.0 is part of a growing national movement that leverages technology to increase social engagement in government and communities. Gov 2.0, Code for America and Startup America all focus on leveraging tech tools so organizations and local governments are can be better and more efficient.
Big changes start with little projects. We hope that you can join us in creating a Norwalk of the future.